One of my college roommates recommended Ender’s Game  to me ages ago, in our senior year, and when I saw it last year in a used bookstore for $2, I grabbed it. It’s excellent; I wish I hadn’t waited so long, and I’m glad I read it when I did - the movie  comes out in December. 

The gist: In a future world, Earth is united in a battle we’re not sure we can win against an alien race; all children are monitored for their potential to be the great general to lead our fleets to victory. From the age of six, Ender Wiggin is deemed our best hope; the book follows him through Battle School and Command School, to the moment toward which his life was always driving.

My favorite parts: This wasn’t a book where specific sentences grabbed me, but I loved that was action-oriented and a quick enough read to be engaging for younger readers or the sci-fi motivated, and also offered a rich meditation on self-determination and power in relationships. If I have kids, I’ll encourage them to read this early and think about what it teaches about what matters in any person’s life, and how to motivate others.

What I did with my copy: Handed it off to my best friend as a nice summer read that will make you feel deeper, not dumber, when she’s done.